ES-335 Reissue Review

manufacturer: Gibson date: 11/09/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Gibson: ES-335 Reissue
ES-335 adds solid body thinking with a thinner, double cutaway body and a solid maple block through the center. This design in conjunction with two '57 Classic humbucking pickups, provides the versatile, warm, full-bodied tone that has made the ES-335 a staple in all styles of music.
 Sound: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 8.4
 Reliability & Durability: 8.4
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.1
 Features: 7.9
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reviews (8) pictures (3) 35 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.8
ES-335 Reissue Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 2562

Purchased from: Denmark Street

Features: Gibson ES-335 Reissue, purchased from Music Ground on Demark Street, London. It's a 1999 model, made in the USA. I bought it used, but in virtually new condition; no dings or major scratches, though there is a fair amount of dirt and wear on the pickup covers. Obviously there's nothing missing here; it does what it's meant to do, the only features missing are perhaps a vibrato unit, or coiltaps, straplocks etc. Overall, absolutely no problems here, but it would be nice if they were offered with factory-fitted straplocks or a bgisby perhaps. // 9

Sound: Like most enthusiastic guitarists, I have a varied musical taste and playing style. The music I play ranges from classic rock (Led Zep, AC/DC, ZZ Top etc), to a lot of newer Indie stuff (The Strokes, The Libertines, We Are Scientists etc), and a load in between, notably Radiohead, Hendrix, The Darknes and so on. Basically I play most styles to some extent exept metal (although I can't think why someone would even consider using an ES for metal). Overall, the ES can definitely handle all of these styles. It's naturally very nice and crunchy with Drive added, so produces very useful rock tones. Not quite as beefy as a Les Paul, but much brighter and smoother. It's biggest strengths are any style that uses light-medium distortion. Under this setting it is warm but not thin; blues solos seem to come naturally and it has a great rhythm tone. It's highly versatile, I've never tried to play a song and not find a suitable tone; even if the tone doesn't match the original record it can always be made to sound good. (and this is all with minimal effects; just the built in gain from my cheap Marshall). The clean tone is particularly nice. Obviously the ES 335 was designed with it's clean tones in mind, and although I personally don't use the clean channel anywhere near as much as the overdrive, I do love the clean tones you can get from this guitar. With both pickups on and a bit of top end taken off, it does a great acoustic impression. I don't play much jazz, but of course with the neck pickup alone an excellent jazz tone can be achieved. It's humbucker equipped don't forget, so the clean tones aren't exactly "glassy" (that is, overly bright), but with an added bit of top boost a good clean bluesy tone is available. No guitar can do everything perfectly, but from the wide variety of Strats, Les Pauls, Teles, Rickeys and Gretsches that tried this guitar stood out. Trust me, I tried a lot. I was up and down Denmark Street for about a month (for anyone who doesn't know, Denmark Street is entirely music shops). // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The finish is absolutely flawless, it's a six-year old guitar and it has been played, but it still looks like new. I can't comment on factory set-up as I bought it used, but the action is good enough for me, and it stays in tune very well. It's an expensive guitar, so there are absolutely no issues with the quality, top marks here. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The quality of this instrument is absolutely top-notch, it is built to last. I feel I could gig it without a backup, but of course that's never a good idea, you can always break a string. If you have the option, use a backup, but I would be confident that no major problems could arise with this guitar when gigged, string breaks aside. // 10

Overall Impression: I feel that this is my perfect guitar. I know that sounds really cheesy, but it was the best I tried from a whole street of guitar shops, and I tried just about everything. I thouroughly recomend it to anyone who needs a guitar with a good clean sound and an even better driven sound. If it were stolen, I would personally hunt down and murder them with my bare hands. But on a serious note, if it was lost and I claimed back the money I paid for it, I would definitely be looking for something very similar. // 10

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overall: 10
ES-335 Reissue Reviewed by: antou, on november 09, 2012
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 3660

Purchased from: Guitar Village

Features: This is the ultimate reissue of the origin ES-335 that save Gibson's ass back in '50s and '60s (Dot and Block Reissue). Semi-solid design, with maple top, bottom and central block, 22 frets rosewood borad with block inlay. Unlike the 335 now, the Reissue is 1/2" narrower. My is Vintage sunburst with a sweet Bigsby tremolo. Stunning looking. Helped by the Gibson Delux machine head to keep the guitar in tune. Cream binding top, bottom and on the fretboard for Vintage feel. Compare to my Les Paul Custom, this is way lighter (or just the LP is too bloody heavy), but it feels natural to hold and the balance is nice. It does come with a case, but the colour is (brown outside and pink inside). // 10

Sound: I am into blues, classic rocks and punk well sometimes metal as well. This guitar does have a killer tone, compare to the LP, it's softer, smoother, lots of bottom ends but also shimming high. Acoustically, this is very loud and encouraging. Go through the AC 30 clean with a bit reverb, just sound superb. Not as crunchy as the LP but more articulating and definition. Excellent for blues or even jazz. The pickups are not particular powerful but Vintage is never about power, that's metal, I have other guitar to cover that. Put it into the top boost + normal (mixed) in the AC 30, be ready to blast away, the tone, again not as aggressive as a Les Paul but the harmonic is very excellent, and still have a lot of attacks. The sustain is even longer than the LP, about the same as the EMG active fake (-ish) long sustain, but this is more natural, decay slowly and nicely. Roll back the vol and tone a bit, great blue lead (with the Tone in AC 30 roll up as well) really really fat sound, but not muddy at all, sound way better than a LP in this section. Pity don't have a Marshall tube, tried it with my friend's JCM 800 it sounds classic (both LP and 335) classic rock n roll you know what I mean. The only problem with the sound is, as many of you can guess, feedback, this is a little in my case as well, the general pros of semi solid. but experience will tell you where to stand to avoid this! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action is abit higher than what I used to (I am fans of extrmem low action). But this feels different, I am quite comfortable with the hight, which is weird. The finish, this is not normal Gibson, this is from real custom shop. So it doesn't suffer from the recent poor quality. Nitro finish is nice and every bit is solid. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I can depend on this baby for sure, its solid like LP. But there are a little concern about the Strap button, it's quite small so I say I will get a strap lock for it, just in case you know. Beside, I have heard that the head of the guitar is really dedicated, well I suppose I am not going to smash it, it will be a bit insane to do that. So I give it a 10 (come on strap button, who cares). // 10

Overall Impression: This is a fantastic guitar, versitle and looks cool. Not playing for long but I have had a few guitars in and out (Fender Tele, Gibson LP Studio, Custom, Epi Xplora). This is a close call with the LP Custom, they both sound extreme organic and loaded with feels. But if I will buy this again? No, this is too bloody expensive, more expensive than 345, LP Supreme and Custom. I have had it once and I rather trying other model (PRS Custom, 355 or Rickenbecker) if anything bad happened to this (hopefully not). Will put in a tracking device just in case it got stolen (joking obviously). But will definitely have my eyes on it! // 10

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overall: 9.2
ES-335 Reissue Reviewed by: Benjirob, on november 09, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 1300

Purchased from: eBay

Features: This is a 1990 Gibson ES-335 (OLDER THAN ME!!!) purchased from eBay. It has 22 frets, a cherry red lacquer finish with a black racing stripe running down the middle of the body. It is absolutely stunning and completely unique. It's made from a maple body and a mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard fitted to it and of course, the dot inlays. It has the two '57 pick ups, a three way pick up selector and the two volume - two tone knobs. One of these is a little loose and worn due to the age of the instrument. On the whole, it's full of features that I want to use. Some people may bemoan the lack of a tremolo but I am not one of these. It didn't come with a Gibson hard case which was a bit of a disappointment for me, instead it came with a Mono Gigbag, which despite being very strong and impressive is not the same as a big loveable hard case. // 9

Sound: This guitar is perfect for the style of music that I play. My music tastes range completely from the cleans of bands such as the National, the twang of The Libertines and Arctic Monkeys, all the way to the rock and distorted tunes of the Foo Fighters. By just changing the channel on my amp, an Orange TH30, I am able to achieve the tones I want. It sounds great for everything I play, with light distortion or cleans being a particular delight. I was initially drawn to this guitar before I purchased one due to its looks but its tone and choice amongst bands I love made me go for it. It completely blows my Les Paul Jr. and Fender Strat (fitted with a Seymour Duncan JB at the bridge) out of the water. So much so, they've both subsequently become redundant. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: It's very difficult to judge these considering the age of the guitar and the fact it's second hand. The action is a little bit too low but everything else sounds fantastic! The finish on the whole is very good, shows some sign of age but that adds to the beauty. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The guitar seems a little bit fragile. I am not sure whether that's due to the fact it's a semi hollow or the fact it cost me a whopping great amount of money. Either way, I am extremely careful with it! More so than my other guitars. I throw my Les Paul about and prefer it looking more scuffed and battered but I would cry my eyes out if this got even the smallest scratch. The lack of a strap lock has caused a few scares but that has now been amended. I have played it for hours on end with no problems, once the string slid off the saddle, but apart from that no problems. I would always gig with a back up just in case I break a string but if I was not able to, I would not be concerned. Considering the age of the guitar, it has held up extremely well. // 9

Overall Impression: For me and the music I play, this guitar is fantastic. I've been playing for over 6 years now and whilst I can not claim to have played every Vintage or style of guitar, this is certainly the best sounding I've ever managed to play. Considering the massive price of this guitar and the cost of my rig, I would expect nothing less than tone heaven from this guitar; unsurprisingly, it duly obliges. I love everything about this guitar and hate nothing, it is simply a beautiful and elegant instrument, one that I would replace ASAP if lost or stolen (once I'd worked up enough money to purchase one). I hope to keep this guitar until I am too old to play it and shall hopefully pass it on to a family member. This is a fantastic guitar, one I recommend all guitarists to try out. // 9

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overall: 9.8
ES-335 Reissue Reviewed by: Red Maggot, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Music Ground

Features: This Beautiful guitar was made in Memphis, TN, USA about 10 years ago. It has 22 jumbo frets all on a Rosewood neck with 10 Pearloid dot fret markers. The Amazing maple hollow body Is brilliant for any guitarist to play any genre and get the tone they want. Metal to jazz. Rock To classical, This Guitar can handle it! I bought this guitar in its classic red satin finish, but many other colours and finishes are available. It is a hollow body guitar with all the bite and tone of a solid body. The bridge is a ABR bridge with a stopbar and can be changed for the more classical 'Lucille' Look! The controls are: 2 separate pickup volume knobs, and 2 tone variety knobs that allow for a happy, springy light sound to a heavy, screaming metal sound. The 2 Gibson covered humbuckers allow hundreds of combinations of tone that would suit even the fussiest of guitarists! Comes with Grover tuners (non-locking) that look just the part to bring an older guitar into the modern world. // 10

Sound: I play in 2 band with very different styles (jazz and metal) and in the 25 years I have been playing this guitar without a shadow of a doubt is one of the best I have played. It has A huge array of tone variety that will suit Any style of playing. I never really crank up the volume and add lots of distortion but I'm sure if you did this guitar would not leave any of its tone in the clean channel! Like I said the guitar can handle just about anything you throw at it and if you did throw something at it the paintwork would stay as it is the day you bought it! Very good for durability. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: When I bought this 'axe' the action was much to high for me, so I Spent about 3 days setting it up (I love messing about to get the perfect tone). But after that it was perfect. The pickups only needed a slight amount of adjusting because they had been messed with in the shop (so a little less work for me). I have played this guitar for just over 2 months and I can see only one flaw. And that is I cant see a flaw (I Love fixing something or setting it up correctly but there was hardly anything to do with it). // 10

Reliability & Durability: I play live 3 times a week so in the 2 months I have owned it I have gigged with it 24 times and it has never let me down, I don't need a backup when I have this guitar with me. In my metal 'performance' it withstands a big amount of abuse (hitting amps, micstands etc). The hardware seems it will last as I have hit it pretty hard and everything is still in place and does not move or rattle like my many previous guitars have. The strap buttons I replaced with new strap locks so I have no idea how the originals would have coped! Like I said I use this guitar without a backup as I know it will never let me down. I said earlier that the paintwork will stay as it was the day you bought it and it will really take some doing to get the paint to chip or flake. // 10

Overall Impression: For me this guitar is perfect, when playing jazz and metal it is very difficult to find the correct guitar for both but with the ES-335 Reissue I think I have found that very guitar. I have played for 20 years (semi-pro)and use this guitar through a Marshall MF350 with 2 cabs (usually) and it combination just seems to work perfectly. The thing I would ask before I bought it is "why is it so darn good?" But no really I wouldn't ask much before buying (because simply playing it answers all your questions). I would buy this guitar again if it were stolen, I could never part with this guitar now I have used it so much! I love everything about it and hate nothing, But if I had to pick my favourite feature it would have to be pick ups as I dont think you could beat them anywhere in the world, they are simply amazing. The only thing I wish it had was a drinks dispenser (because it has just about everything else you need). // 10

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overall: 9.8
ES-335 Reissue Reviewed by: JP51, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: The guitar was made in 2006 down in Memphis. It has 20 frets and a rosewood fretboard. The body is made of mahogany as well as the neck and you have a great grip on the neck and can go up and down the frets easily and the wood looks amazing on it. It has a laminated top but I would have preferred a solid but the satin cherry finish on mine takes my attention completely off the top. I personally like the satin finish better than lacquer finishes because lacquer takes away tone from the guitar unless they used nitrocellulose which really unheard of on guitars these days. The 335 makes you feel like you're either Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Freddie King, or Alvin Lee depending on what kind of music you like but this guitar won't make you play like them. The 3-way selector and '57 classic humbuckers work wonders together. // 10

Sound: This guitar is great for the blues and jazz. It works with certain rock genres. It works with "Cream" and early days "Led Zeppelin". If you're into Metal this is not the right one I suggest a Les Paul. Getting this guitar for Metal is like a leper giving you a facial it really doesn't work. With all the distortion and treble will just give you screeching and horrible feedback. The amps depend on what you're into. I use a Marshall amp and it gives a great John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers sound. You add a Dunlop Wah pedal and you get a "Cream". You add a little gain and treble (not a lot) and you can accomplish a Stevie Ray Vaughan tone but Strats work better for SRV. The sounds you can get from this guitar are amazing but relating to what I said before the sound varies on what kind of amp you use and/or what you are into. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was great on mine when I got it and hammer-ons and pull-offs were heard clear as water. The humbuckers are perfectly placed and pickup everything great. The only flaw that occurred with me was that a piece of lacquer from the neck (underneath the fretboard) flicked off. Thankfully I bought it from Guitar Center and they're great to work with and replaced the guitar with another they had in stock. // 9

Reliability & Durability: If you're into blues and jazz like me this guitar will not let you down. It's a little heavy so you need pretty durable guitar strap that can withstand it. This guitar is great as a main guitar for gigs. I honestly would still need a backup guitar to get certain tones that you can't get from humbuckers. This guitar can mimic them pretty well but it's but if you have a variety of guitars like me you can tell the difference. This guitar is extremely delicate! Please do not place this in a gig bag use a hardshell case and lay it flat. The case may have knobs to make it stand up but there still is a chance for it to fall down. Trust me from experience on that. You don't want end up with a $1700 guitar with a broken neck and wondering how it could have broke if it was in a hard shell case. Also do not use guitar hangers that let you hang the guitar by it's headstock on the wall. I think the guitar hanger is the worst invention for guitar containment. For that just hang your guitar by string on the top of the wall. Also do not place the guitar on a stand near sunlight. Doing so will only end in tears. // 10

Overall Impression: As I said before I play the blues and jazz and I must say that the Gibson ES-335 is GOD's gift to the blues along with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Buddy Guy. I own a Fender Stratocaster and a bunch of others and a Dunlop Wah pedal. I've been playing for a while and must say the Marshall, Dunlop, and 335 combo is just magic. If my 335 were stolen or lost I would cry and definitely replace even though I would still be upset. I love the color and finish of the guitar but my favorite feature are those '57 Classics. That sound is unbelievable. I personally think Gibson makes one of the best semi-hollow with Grestch right behind them but not by a lot. Get this guitar and expect great results. // 10

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overall: 9.8
ES-335 Reissue Reviewed by: stevenpollock, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: I had originally bought 2003 335 Reissue from eBay in Vintage Sunburst, but it arrived with a broken headstock so I was refunded my money and Guitar Center matched the price on a Figured top. (it was an authorized dealer not a private seller. The one I now own was made in 2008 in Memphis, Tennessee. I took a trip to TN this past summer and after playing one of these I knew I had to eventually have one, I didn't know it was going to be so soon. Lucky me. The guitar is kept where my band practices, along with all but 2 acoustics I own (it won't do any good in my 1 bedroom) but I believe it has 20 frets. Mine is a Figured Top in Vintage Sunburst. I actually wanted a Gloss/Satin finish when I bought this originally, but it looks as if there is a place where some of the dark brown paint had run more than expected, giving it a super unique look. So I had to have it. I'm not going to get too technical into this because I'm sure most of you know this is a Semi-Hollowbody with Gibson '57 (passive) pickups, 2 volume and 2 tone controls, with Grover tuners and a hard case. It's the set up I know the best. // 10

Sound: I play in a band called Avenue of Embers ( and we take mostly from rock, metal, power pop, and "emo"(?). I have this set up in Standard tuning, putting my Alpine White Les Paul Studio on the back burner for now. I run through a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier, and I've found that I now have my gain 1/4 less than what I used to with my LP with the 498/490. Clarity and personality Shine through with the '57's. The guitar sings how you play it. Single notes come through with high attack and brilliance, while chords come sound full and rich, and you can still hear each note coming through. The harder you play, the tougher this sounds. I don't really use the neck pickup-only setting, which I used to use for most of the clean sounds on my LP because I personally find it too boomy. But the middle setting sounds beautiful with the perfect balance of hi's and low's. The bridge setting is what I find myself using the most, and sounds the best with distortion (duh!). Feed back is more prominent here then it has been with any of my solidbodies, which is a given, but I haven't found it a problem. I actually find it useful. All in all, it simply is the best sounding guitar I have ever played. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The set up was *fine*, but the action was a little low and there was some buzzing. I took it to my favorite local luthier and I was a little bummed that the action would need to be raised for this to be set up properly as I would like to have it as low as possible. I have since gotten used to that and it's fine now. Pick ups were fine, intonation was slightly flat, but I expected it to be set up anyways after that long plane ride from TN to UT. Like I said earlier, the finish was sort of weird, as if they let it hang too long, but it is still beautiful, and I'm all for it. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have played this guitar Live twice since I got it a month ago (with some good bands mind you, & and I was proud to have it around my neck. I never put a strap on it before installing locking buttons because those are by far one of the most important things to have if you are putting a guitar around your neck. I brought my LP both times as a back up and never needed to use it. BUT I would never gig without a back up. The finish seems durable and I feel it will expand with the guitar nicely. My only gripe is I'm a little disappointed in the Grovers that came on it. They don't stay in tune as well as the Grovers on my '05 Gibson Explorer. I do feel like I need to be more careful with this guitar opposed to my Les Paul, cause throwing that around on stage was fun and not scary. // 9

Overall Impression: I feel this guitar adds a lot to my music. It brings a deeper emotion to guitar playing. It's tone pulls you in more than anything I've ever heard. I have too many guitars and the only other ones worth mentioning are my Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson Explorer, Gibson Sonex-180 Gibson ES-125 and my Fender American Strat. As far as Standard tuning goes, I have not picked up any other guitar to play with since I bought this about a month ago. If this were lost or stolen I would be heartbroken. I would most definitely try to get another as soon as I could. I love the sound, the look, the playability, everything about this guitar. Seriously. I wish the case was brown and Pink instead of all black. But I don't even hate that haha. Compare it to an ES-333. Buy one of those and put in '57s if you are a touring musician instead. They're a lot more of a working mans guitar, but very hard to find. I'm over typing this review. Later! // 10

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overall: 7
ES-335 Reissue Reviewed by: Adam Andeveit, on november 09, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 2400

Purchased from: On-line from the US

Features: US made, 22 frets, antique blond. Twin humbucker pick-ups with individual volume and tone controls. Who am I to criticize a design classic(? ) but I will anyway: it lacks a master volume control. I like to play with a lot of sustain; however, when I want to fade out, I have to either select one of the twin pick-ups (thus changing the texture of the sound) and then wind down the volume. This ridiculously fiddly! Alternatively, I have to decide at the start which pick-up I want (usually the neck) pick up because that is the only one I can reach with my pinkie while palm-muting the strings. Having bought a guitar with two twin humbuckers I would like to be able choose when I use them rather than have the decision made for me because of this really annoying design fault. // 4

Sound: I play modern rock Christian worship songs in a church worship band. The venue is a 1700 seater. The ES 335 is ideal. I play with lots of overdrive and feedback/sustain through a Marshall 80Watt valvestate, which is about to be replaced by a Roland 60Watt cube. I've also played in through an Orange Rockerverb 50Watt. It sounds great through all of them. If the guitar didn't sound so good (now that it has been set up properly - see next panel), I'd never play it because of the aforentioned design fault. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The set up was rubbish. For the money, Gibson quality control should hang their heads in shame. It took two trips to a luthier before it was set up properly, and I'm not talking personal choices here; the set up was down right faulty. The action was uneven. Most of the strings buzzed when fretted between 8 and 15. The guitar is eye catching; guitarists and non-guitarist tell me "what a beautiful guitar!" When I get back from a gig, if I don't hang the guitar on it's hook in our dining room, my wife does it for me: she loves it (the guitar - you dirty minded person!). // 6

Reliability & Durability: I love playing this guitar Live. However, the strap buttons could be a bit bigger. There have been a few occasions when I have had to catch the guitar after it had slipped off the strap. I don't think the head would survive a fall from chest height. It's a through neck so if the head breaks off, the guitar's had it. Fit strap locks: don't say you weren't warned. I always bring a second guitar as back up. You can't blame the guitar if a string breaks. I have every reason to assume the instrument will go on forever. // 8

Overall Impression: The ES 335 is okay for what I play. However, if I'm playing octaves (say the third and fifth strings two frets apart), muting the other strings is not as easy as on my other electric guitar (a Carvin DC200T). I usually gig through a Marshall 80Watt valvestate with the overdrive gain and volume set just above three quarters and the Amp master volume control on half volume. This is mic'ed through a PA system. I'm about to get a Roland Cube 60Watt; in tests it sounded great but I haven't gigged with it yet. Through the Marshall it sounds truely sweet, fat, rich, beautiful. If I lost it, I'd probably look for a hollow body electric that looked and sounded similar but had a master volume control. // 7

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overall: 1
ES-335 Reissue Reviewed by: Farid Issa, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 3000

Purchased from: Sadek Music Dubai

Features: On February 16th 2012 I purchased a Gibson custom 335 cherry red serial number 13190738, on the18th of February the neck was broken at the head board. Gibson customer service refused to examine the guitar to determine whether or not it was a faulty manufacturing problem claiming that it was a transportation accident. I would rate this guitar at a Zero, and the Gibson "Gold Warranty" worthless. // 1

Sound: Does not function // 1

Action, Fit & Finish: Does not function // 1

Reliability & Durability: Not durable at all, should you buy this guitar......please keep at your dealer store as it may snap during transportation in its own bag. // 1

Overall Impression: Rip Off // 1

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